Spiritual Pioneers and Where to Find Them

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Hello Everyone,

I hope you are all doing well and enjoying the best of the holiday season.  It’s been a busy time for all of us, I’m sure! 

This week, I thought I would share a few of my reflections on being a spiritual pioneer.  What is a spiritual pioneer?  What do spiritual pioneers want to explore?  Where can you find a spiritual pioneer?  And in what ways are we all spiritual pioneers?


Spiritual Pioneers and Where to Find Them

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I have been thinking lately that many of us may be spiritual pioneers, expanding love into uncharted spaces. 

From this perspective, I see people as originating from a spiritual “place”—a state of being—filled with love, oneness, and light (lol ☺).  In our home state, there is no resistance, no variance or opposition to lol. 

Our innate essence is one with love and light.  I imagine that we would be curious about places where there is an absence of lol and may want to experience and understand such places. 

Being a spiritual pioneer, who courageously ventures into places lacking lol, is like being an astronaut exploring an uncharted planet lacking oxygen.  Risky, dangerous, and yet, totally amazing.

This idea of exploring dark places, reminds me of an interesting series of dreams I had in 2003. 

In the first dream, I met a large being of light, whose desire was to grant me whatever I wanted.  In my dream, I cast my thoughts on all that I had, and I experienced profound abundance.  There was nothing that I did not have.  Anything I wanted to know, I could know instantly.  However, I soon discovered something that I did not know about and was curious to explore. 

I asked for an understanding of evil.

The being of light thought for a brief moment and agreed to grant my request.  Instantly, I was surrounded by a seething, swirling, cloudy energy that attacked me.  I grappled with the fear, anger, and annihilation that this energy created in me. 

After a while, it suddenly released me, and I felt a combination of relief and elation, as if I had just finished riding a roller coaster.

The next night, I dreamed that I met the energy of evil two more times. 

Each time the energy became more powerful and challenging.  The third time, I met evil as I walked down a hallway, and after a long and difficult struggle, I once again overcame it.  As I was released from the grip of evil the third time, I thought to myself, “Whew!  That almost ended me!"

These dreams gave me spiritual insights that I have never forgotten.  I believe that what we experience in life as being dark and difficult (and wish to avoid) is exactly what our spiritual self wanted to learn and explore. 

In the midst of a psychiatric session, the thought that the person sitting before me is a courageous spiritual pioneer sometimes crosses my mind.  The person may be struggling with a mental illness, or a parent may be struggling to love and support their child with mental illness. In either situation, I respect them for being spiritual pioneers.

I see how their love powerfully overcomes obstacles, transforming darkness into light.

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Perhaps I may seem to be an eternal optimist, blind to the realities of life. 

On some days, I may agree. 

I find, however, that spiritual laws and principles are so paradoxical in nature and so different from the world’s ways that they typically turn our worldly perspectives upside down and inside out. 

From the world’s perspective, loss and illness seem senseless and intrusive.  Life appears to exist without purpose or meaning, and then we die. 

But from a spiritual perspective, those who struggle in the darkest places deserve our respect and help, as they push the boundaries of love and light into new frontiers of being.  

Of course, by thinking of others as spiritual pioneers, I become more aware of my own spiritual pioneering activities in life.  After a long day of healing, I may feel exhausted, but I also feel more alive and fulfilled.  Looking back on my day, I have a feeling of having done something worthwhile.  I’ve explored places in the mind and heart where I had not gone before. 

In essence: I planted some lol seeds on another barren patch where lol can grow and flourish.

As the holiday season reminds us to bring more love and light into our relationships, let us be spiritual pioneers, not only during Christmas and New Years, but our whole lives through.

PAIRS and Shares

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Hello Everyone,

For this week, I would like to write about two events that I recently attended.  The first is my (second) weekend at PAIRS mastery class with Ellen and Chuck Purcell in Reston, Virginia.  This weekend, I learned about “fair fighting” or, in other words, conflict resolution in close relationships.  I learned that anger and fighting can be separated, and positive changes can come from an authentic, loving approach to conflict. 

The second event is my evening meeting with Metro Collaborative, an organization of cutting edge clinicians, organized by Bill Dennis.  We were invited by Bill to present our own short “TED” talks, as a way of introducing our practices.  I was moved and inspired by the transformative journeys that led each health care professional to become who they are today.  After their presentations, I felt more connected and self-accepting.  I will share with you what happened.


PAIRS and Shares

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The past four days have enriched me so much through insights and learning that I feel somehow more whole than I was before.  I want to share a little of what I’ve learned and hope that you will be able to benefit vicariously from my experiences.  First, I will write about the PAIRS classes and then I will write about what was shared at the Metro Collaborative meeting.

This past weekend, in PAIRS, we began with a discussion about the enneagram.  The enneagram is a system that divides people into nine different personality types, with emotional and mental filters associated with each type.  Though I am not completely sold on the idea that people could be so neatly sorted (even the names of the nine types change from book to book), what is central to the enneagram is the idea that people come with their filters, priorities, and personality types, into any relationship. 

Through these filters, we react to conflict in predictable ways.  Recognizing that each person has their own style of approaching life moves us a few steps closer towards resolving conflicts already.  I bought a paperback book called, “The Essential Enneagram” by David Daniels, MD and Virginia Price, Ph.D.  It’s a good place to start, if you wish to learn more about enneagrams.

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On the second day, Ellen and Chuck informed the class that anger does not need to be a part of fighting.  One participant, upon hearing that, asked what we were all wondering, “What’s fighting without anger?”  

First, we were taught how to release intense emotions through proper venting techniques (take this class to learn what they are!).  Then we were given tools on how to navigate conflicts, directing the majority of the attacks away from the partner and towards a neutral PAIRS coach.  Students in the class practiced being the complainer, the recipient, or the coach.  There was a lot of laughter and fun, as we practiced.

What moved me the most happened during the third day of class, as Ellen and I sat as coaches, for a wonderful couple.  I watched them work on deeply hurtful conflicts with intense love and humility.  I saw her husband wipe his tears, then hold her hands and ask for what he needed, to resolve the conflict between them.  I heard her agree to his conditions with generosity, forgiveness, and understanding.  It was all very tender and vulnerable and heartfelt, even though there was plenty of conflict that needed to be resolved. 

I learned that love could resolve conflicts and that anger didn’t need to be involved.  Never have I seen fighting done in this manner.  It was a life-changing moment for me.  I felt illuminated.

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The next day, Monday, I attended a Metro Collaborative Meeting, where holistic and cutting-edge health care professionals met, to talk about their practices.  This evening, Bill Dennis, the creator of this group, asked us to prepare a short “TED talk” related to our practice, encouraging us to share what we felt passionate about.  He asked me to be the first to begin.  I had taken his suggestion to heart and had decided that I would share, as authentically as I was able, how I became a holistic psychiatrist. 

Raised in a setting where conformity and obedience to authority were highly valued (being a woman, Chinese, Mormon, and physician), and born with an artist’s temperament focused on a creative writing career, I began life very far removed from being a holistic psychiatrist.  I shared the challenges that shaped me and the trials that forced me to find creative solutions.  After I shared my experiences, there was a long silence.  Bill invited a man to go next.  He said, “I don’t know how I can follow after that.  I don’t have such experiences to share.” 

But he did.  He shared how he had been an attorney and how his health had suffered, because of the demands and expectations of his career and accompanying lifestyle.  Then, after reading a book, he made his first step towards regaining his health.  He decided to eat real, whole foods and to let go of processed foods.  Ten years later and 60 pounds lighter, he shared his creative ideas and powerful approaches, as an enthusiastic health coach.  

Another functional physician shared how, growing up, he had never intended to be a doctor either.  He wanted to fly and did fly.  But then cancer devastated his health, and he had to stop doing everything he loved.  Life challenged him to find new meaning and fulfillment elsewhere.  He shared with us his difficult search for new meaning, purpose, and direction for his life.  Now as a clinician and teacher, he is a valuable leader in functional medicine.

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Before others shared, I had this unconscious feeling of separation and alienation, because I just assumed that others at the table would not be able to relate to my circuitous journey through life.  I will never assume that again.  Nor will I allow myself to feel so different and alienated from others.  I belong.  I belong to this circle of healers, and my trials and suffering had a purpose.  Through our common experiences, I came to feel acceptable, as I accepted others. 

The stories were each profoundly moving and deeply personal.  I felt, after each had finished sharing, as if I had found another friend.  I saw their courage and strength of will.  I felt surrounded by a company of lights.  What a powerful way to light the holiday season.

On Unconditional Love

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Hello Everyone,

I hope you have had a happy Thanksgiving holiday and are ready to enjoy the Christmas spirit in the weeks ahead.

As I’ve reflected on what to write about this week, I have been drawn to the topic of unconditional love.  Perhaps it may be due to the holidays and the focus on thankfulness and charity for each other, or perhaps it may be due to my work, teaching me that love is a healing energy that leads to recovery; but lately, it seems to me as if everything radiates the spiritual message of love. 

I have been thinking that, on a spiritual level, I often meet pioneers who are expanding love into unknown territories of being—people who love under the most extraordinary of circumstances.  I will share an encounter with unconditional love, so you can understand what I mean.

Although the experience I want to share is about a mother of a patient, I also think of my patients as spiritual pioneers, who are expanding their life experiences through extreme circumstances.  Their life journey requires great spiritual courage and humility. 

My work, in all of this, is to help lessen their suffering to the extent that I am able.  In my own way, I am also learning about unconditional love, vicariously as an observer, and experientially, as I continue to love my patients and their families throughout their healing journey. 

I hope that sharing this experience will help you to continue your own life journey as a spiritual pioneer in this infinitely loving universe.


On Unconditional Love

(Names have been changed to preserve anonymity)

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Ben had been psychotic since college.  In fact, he graduated from Princeton, while still psychotic.  He was brilliant, musically talented, and socially gregarious.  But his illness had taken much from him over the years.  His paranoia and unstable mental state have shrunken his social circle and ruined his prospects.  Though he did quite well during the time that I had worked with him, I have not seen him for almost four years, after working with him from 2010 to 2013. 

His mother, Liza, has cared for him, through several hospitalizations since then, with the consistency of a saint and the love of an angel.  I have been meeting with her over the past few months, as a consultant, without charge, to help her support Ben. 

Liza bought him organic food, and over the past few months, had begun to add hemp oil, containing cannabanoids (CBD), to his other nutritional supplements and medications.  The amount of CBD that Ben needed cost over $1,000.00 per month—more money than Liza could afford.  Ben’s sister willingly supported her brother by covering the cost of her brother’s medical expenses.  Through the use of CBD, his mental health has been improving. 

Liza had been decreasing her son’s antipsychotic medications on her own initiative, going from two antipsychotics down to one, as she increased his dosage of CBD.  Although I had initially told her about CBD, I was quite surprised at her success with it and was delighted to hear how well Ben had been doing while taking it.

Liza had a broad smile on her face as she recounted the positive changes she had observed over the past few months in Ben.  For many months while ill, Ben did not believe that she was his mother and had refused to look at or to speak to her.  He had lost his sense of identity and had claimed a different name.  She watched him spend hours in front of a mirror talking to himself, leaving spit on the glass surface. 

During his worst episodes, he would leave home and try to walk barefoot for miles, and she would drive around frantically, trying to locate him, or get a phone call from the police about finding him walking along the highway.  But now, even while taking less medication, he has become increasingly self-sufficient, gradually acknowledging her and then recognizing her as his mother. 

More recently, he has been able to be left alone and could follow a schedule, calling his mother to let her know that he has taken his supplements and medication.  Finally, one day he agreed to come back to my practice.

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And now they were sitting side by side in my office, and she had her arm around his shoulder, radiating unconditional love for her son. He would lay his head at times, on his mother’s shoulder, and the love between them was profound and deeply moving. 

Later, during the session, he looked at me, with eyes filled with sadness and remorse, and said softly, “Dr. Lee, I’m so sorry about everything.”  

I suppose he was referring to a time in the past, while paranoid, when he had lost his temper with me.  My heart overflowed with a combination of tender regard for him, sadness at his suffering, and joy over his return, and I gave him a big hug.

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I had intended to write about Liza’s unconditional love, but in the midst of my writing, I realized that his sister and I have also given and loved unconditionally.  Through Ben, we have all come to a better understanding of what love is.  Our love for Ben helped us to transcend the need to forgive.  It was as if love was a hand, sweeping away suffering and heartache, like clutter off a table.  

We had come to understand that love didn’t require any acknowledgment or recognition.  Liza continued in hope and dedicated herself to Ben’s wellbeing throughout the years, in spite of his refusal to even look at her.  Her light kept shinning in the darkness.  Selfless.  Strong.  Ever filled with faith. 

This kind of love reminds me of the verses in the Bible on charity:

4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up.

7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

(I Corinthians 13: 4, 7)


At the end of our last session, Liza whispered confidently to me, “I feel that this time we will be successful.  With the love that we have, and what we know now, it’s going to work this time.”  

For all of us, I had hoped so.  But for Liza, who has mastered the art of unconditional love, I believe she has already succeeded no matter what the outcome may be.

A Way to Nurture Beautiful Relationships: PAIRS

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Hello Everyone,

I hope you are enjoying the crunch of fall leaves below your feet and the crisp autumn air.  This is a wonderful time to take a drive along a mountain road and take a look at the valley spread below, bursting with brilliant colors.

This week, I thought I would share just two highlights from my PAIRS class—a relationship mastery program.  It focuses on helping individuals learn how to communicate, especially in intimate relationships.  Often times, we learn how to communicate, from examples we encountered when we were young.  Unfortunately, those examples may not have taught us the best ways to communicate, especially with respect to those who are closest and dearest to us.  Taking this class this weekend has truly been a rewarding and an eye-opening experience.  I look forward to learning the skills I need, to improve and support my relationships, with those I care deeply about, in the months ahead.  I would recommend the PAIRS relationship mastery program, for anyone who puts a high value on positive relationships in life!


A Way to Nurture Beautiful Relationships: PAIRS

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This weekend I had the opportunity to begin my Practical Application of Intimate Relationship Skills (PAIRS) program, or to be more specific, the PAIRS relationship mastery program, taught by Ellen and Chuck Purcell in Reston, Virginia.  Circumstances arose where one of the attendees needed a partner, and I knew Ellen and Chuck, so they kindly offered me the chance to join them.

The course is taught over an entire weekend once per month, from November through May.  This weekend’s courses went from 7:30 pm to 10 pm on Friday, and from 10 am to 6 pm on Saturday and Sunday.  Before the weekend, I thought that was an inordinate amount of time learning about how to talk to others.  Now that I have attended one weekend, I have realized that I was at the level of learning where “I didn’t know what I didn’t know.”  Despite years of experience as a psychiatrist, I discovered that I had woefully neglected an entire territory of emotional literacy—the art of communication in intimate relationships.

Although I can’t divulge the specific lessons given in the PAIRS classes, I can share my reflections on the skills and insights I have learned.  I will just highlight two below:

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1) I learned how to complain.  Well, to be more precise, I learned that I didn’t know how to complain.  Typically, I preferred to start my complaints with, “I don’t like it when you…”  Reasonable right?  How else could the other person guess that I’m even complaining, if I didn’t start with those words?

Apparently, this was not the ideal way to complain, because the other person would get defensive if I phrased it like that.  Indeed, sadly, I have found this to be the case.  Having learned that complaining was not helpful to my relationships, I have tried to avoid the whole thing.  But that left me stuck between a rock and a hard place.  If I complained, I would usually hurt the other person’s feelings, but if I didn’t complain, my unresolved and unexpressed complaint would get in the way of a better relationship.  After taking PAIRS, I learned how to express my complaint in a way that had a better chance of being received by the other person.  Chuck and Ellen stressed that it was important for us to reach the other person’s heart, when we expressed a complaint, not just their head.

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In class, we were taught to begin a complaint with, “I noticed…”  How could that be a complaint?  Well, it could lead to a complaint, if one noticed a behavior that one wanted to complain about.  So clever, right?  What I learned was that complaints could be the first step towards improving a relationship, if we expressed ourselves in a way that facilitated positive change, which would then strengthen our bonds with those we love. 

I regret that my parents had not taken a PAIRS class, before I was born.  Alas, they had been caught in a couple of wars and were too busy trying to survive.  As a result, I had to create my own relationship alphabet that lacked many letters and limited my ability to express myself lovingly and authentically.  Before my children get married, I think it would be helpful to offer them the opportunity to attend a PAIRS relationship mastery program with their fiancés.  It would be a wonderful way to help them start a new generation of happy, thriving relationships.

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2) I learned the importance of listening carefully, mirroring back what had been expressed, and asking for clarification if needed.  As much as people may believe they can read another person’s expressions, body language, or actions/inactions, it is best not to do so.  Instead, ask questions whenever one is unclear about something.  Don’t just make assumptions about the other person, check with the other person to see if one’s interpretation has been accurate.  During class, we worked on listening and repeating back what the other person had said.  It was awkward, but it forced us to really listen.  At the end of class, Chuck read a piece about the importance of listening, rather than trying to fix the problem.

After taking this class, I remembered, with embarrassment and regret, a rather bad communication faux pas that I made over a year ago.  At the time, I had confided to a friend that I would never be able to retire, due to all the money I have spent on my children’s college expenses and not being able to put any money aside for my retirement.  I may have said something like, “I’ll just have to work until I die of old age!”

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To my surprise, my friend exclaimed, with child-like spontaneity, sincerity, and a splash of humor, “You can live with me!  I will take care of you, even when you get old!”  

To which I replied, “You, take care of me?  You get sick more often than I do.  How many colds have you had in the past year compared to me?  Besides, you have more wrinkles than me.”

I am really sorry I said that.  Well, what I said was true, but what I neglected to say and really felt inside was, “That is just about the sweetest thing anyone has ever said to me.  I can’t believe how loving and generous you are.  Thank you for caring.  But my heart is breaking at the thought of being needy, vulnerable and old, especially before you.”  Pride kicked in big time, and I communicated poorly.  To tell the truth, if our positions were switched, I would have felt the same way about my friend, whom I would tenderly care for, if given the opportunity—no matter how wrinkled, sick, or weak we might be one day. 

I hope that, after my PAIRS classes, I will learn how to communicate authentically and to do so with loving skill.  Relationships are too precious to ruin through an inept ability to properly communicate what the heart has the right to say.

The Wisdom, Insight, and Power of Patients

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Hello Everyone,

I hope you are all doing well as we move into November.  Now is the time to enjoy the bright autumn leaves, wear your favorite sweaters, and take advantage of mosquito-free walks.

This week, I thought it would be interesting to share some experiences I had with my patients that helped me to grow.  I wanted to highlight three experiences: an insightful analogy, a spiritual realization, and a courageous moment.

Being a holistic psychiatrist allows me to live and learn vicariously from the thoughts, feelings and experiences of many people.  It is a life packed with life!  I hope you will enjoy a glimpse into the ways I grow and learn from my patients, as my life intersects theirs, along their healing journey.


The Wisdom, Insight, and Power of Patients

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Being at the crossroads of life as a holistic psychiatrist is truly a privilege and an adventure.  Not only is life made more meaningful through service, but at the end of the day, I feel as if I have condensed three day’s worth of living into one busy work day.  My artistic nature finds creative expression in nurturing beauty and color back into another human being’s life.  In return, patients help me to grow, by teaching me through their lives, how to truly live.  I learn from their insightful analogies/metaphors on life, examples of courage, and acts of faith.  Because of my patients, I have become more patient, humble, and compassionate.  The advantage of a life of service is that it leads to the same transformation and healing being served to others.

I will share just a few experiences from this week, starting with an analogy given by a patient, during a session, that I thought was immensely insightful, not only about herself, but about human nature:

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1)  We were discussing how she often used dissociation, a coping mechanism, to brush away negative feelings.  Several times, I pointed out that she was speaking in a child-like voice, with a shrug, while ignoring her deeper awareness of pain and suffering.  The patient also noticed it and, at the same time, was struggling with her inability to stop doing it.  She wanted to feel again, but could not, because of her fear that it would lead to a never ending “black hole.”

She said, “I guess it’s like being on autopilot for so long that I’ve forgotten how to do it on my own.  And when I try to jury-rig it, it doesn’t quite work the way it should, and I end up crashing.”

I was delighted by her brilliant analogy and told her so.  Isn’t that a common problem we all face?  I asked her how she could avoid the automatic autopilot response of dissociating her feelings, and instead, become present and engaged with life.  This question led to some steps.  First, to notice when she is on the verge of going on autopilot.  Second, to choose to stay and face whatever life is presenting to her at that moment.  And third, to love herself, even if she jury-rig the process and fail to do it perfectly.  For, how else can anyone learn to shift and grow?

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2)  “After I leave, she needs to sanitize this sofa,” he said loudly, while waiting in the waiting room.  He was grimy, because he had been homeless.  When I looked at him, I had the impression that, if he had a good shower, he might not look so tanned.  He reeked of alcohol and slurred his words through half-closed eyes.  He was emotionally, cognitively and socially impaired.  His mother had brought him in that evening for some urgent care.  His diagnosis was bipolar II, and he had not been taking his medications.  Instead, he had taken a bottle of cough syrup that morning, which he said, “worked well for me.”

As I handed him some supplements to swallow in the waiting room: Li-Zyme Forte, Recancostat (glutathione), and Ultra-CBD (hemp oil cannabinoids), he took them trustingly, all the while, talking himself into doing it, saying, “It’s just supplements, natural stuff; it’s not going to hurt me.”

While typing out a nutritional regimen for him in my office, thoughts flowed into my mind, as if angels were whispering to me: he has the divine light within him.  God lives through him and knows his suffering.  God loves him and knows who he really is.  A warm feeling of compassion and respect for the patient accompanied these thoughts.

When we ended around 10 p.m., we shook hands and looked into each other’s eyes.  I saw intelligence and goodness there, and I hoped that he could feel my genuine compassion for him and remember the divine within him, keeping him company, no matter what.

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3)  The patient had been tearful and irritable during the week, despite lowering some of her antipsychotic medication for the past several days.  “Perhaps,” I thought, “she needs more medication and not less.  Perhaps I had made a mistake, by tapering her antipsychotic medication too quickly.”

I did an analysis, using muscle testing, to check for the patient’s qualitative function, and the results indicated that the patient was on too much medication, not too little.  I had been too conservative with the taper and not aggressive enough.  This was it.  After six months of treatment, we would need to stop the remaining 0.3 mg of Risperdal.  To do so would go against my training and would require courage and faith in following the testing results.  I shared my results and conclusion with the family and patient, looking a little concerned, worried and apologetic.


“Yes!” the mother said exultantly, triumphantly pumping her fist in the air, “Finally!”

Her daughter smiled also, looking pleased and happy.

I looked at both of them and blinked in surprise.  “You’re not worried about stopping the medication?”  I asked.

“We’ve been slowly getting to this point over a long time.  It makes perfect sense.  It’s just a little bit of medication.  No, I’m not worried,” the mother replied confidently.

“Well, call me, if you have any concerns this week,” I called out, as they left the office, after going over what to watch for, if the withdrawal didn’t work.

“She’ll be all right,” the mother said.  Her reassuring smile comforted me, despite my trepidation from ten years of medical brainwashing.

As I closed the office door, I marveled at her and her daughter’s courage, faith and strength, and hoped that all will go smoothly for them.  Withdrawing from an antipsychotic is to risk the possibility of psychosis, to lose one’s ability to think logically.  To taper, nonetheless, requires tremendous faith and courage.  For a thousand, thousand times, I have witnessed such faith and courage in my patients and their families.  Without their strength and determination, I would have given up such work a long time ago.  Where the darkness is darkest is where we see the brightest light shine.  What a wonderful privilege and honor it is, for me to accompany my patients and their families, on their healing journey.

Matter and Energy: Colleagues along the Healing Journey

Hello Everyone,

I hope you are enjoying the beautiful fall season.  Halloween is just around the corner.  It is one of my favorite holidays.  This year, I will be passing out quarters rather than candy for Halloween.  I did it in the past, and the kids loved it.  

I like passing out quarters, because I feel bad when I give out candy, knowing that it is harmful to the children and contributing to their sugar addiction.  At the end of Halloween night, I can go to sleep with a clean conscience, having found a compromise between my desire to make children happy, and my desire to act with integrity despite social expectations to do otherwise.  Perhaps my solution may encourage you to do something similar during Halloween. 

This week, I thought I would write a little about energy medicine.  It is a difficult subject to explain, and I have only touched the tip of the iceberg.  However, I hope this article will help you to appreciate what is possible through this field.  I hope you will enjoy it.


Matter and Energy: Colleagues along the Healing Journey

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Over the past three months, I have attended three integrative medicine conferences.  Each has taught me a great deal about diet, supplements, and medication side effects.  While attending, I met a number of colleagues, who were relatively new to the field of integrative medicine.  I empathized with them, remembering how hard it had been for me to change my paradigms on healing.  It’s difficult to digest the idea that nutrition could be powerful medicine, much less learn the ton of material being presented.  

A number of times, I was questioned by them about what I have learned over the years and had the opportunity to share my expertise and experiences.  Sometimes, as I spoke, the clinician(s) would write down the information on her cell phone—information on supplements, organizations, and energy medicine techniques.  Some have followed up since these conferences, to collaborate with me in their clinical work.  

Although I could share information about supplements and organizations with ease, and they received the information readily, I struggled mightily when it came to discussing energy medicine and how it contributed to a patient’s ability to heal also.  In fact, without my tools in energy medicine, I know I would not have been able to help my patients taper off medications safely, even if I had been adept with every supplement on the planet.  It was a frustrating, lonely experience to fail at explaining this half of my healing approach.

I have called energy medicine “the quantum physics of healing.”  It was a term that best defined it, and I came up with that phrase long before the book, “The Quantum Doctor” by Amit Goswami, Ph.D., was ever published.  Energy medicine is to functional medicine what an atom bomb is to a cannon ball.  The power of energy medicine is immense and multifaceted.  I have used it over the past 13 years to easily access helpful information through muscle testing.  Doing so had allowed me to create appropriate and complex nutritional regimens that adapted to the needs of the patient through real time, thus, paving the way for a safer medication withdrawal process. 

In addition, energy medicine, in the form of meditation recordings, helped my patients to efficiently adapt to lower medication dosages (See the recording, Minimizing Medication Withdrawal Problems).  For example, one important adaptation was the need to decrease the number of receptors, once a medication’s blocking effects had been reduced.  Not every consequence of medication withdrawal could be addressed through a supplement or diet.  It is crucial to the withdrawal process to be able to access necessary information and energy to help the process along.

Describing what energy medicine techniques can do is the easy part.  The hard part is describing how to do it.  This problem reminds me of an interaction I had with a friend and colleague, Vincent Gouwy, O.D.  He is an osteopathic physician working in Belgium, who does energy healing work in his practice.  I met him at an International Association of Near-Death Studies (IANDS) conference, where he presented on NDEs being a shift in consciousness.  As a child, he had the ability to see light above people’s heads.  He doesn’t see such things anymore.  Yet, he told me one day, “You’re just glowing and glowing!”  

A few days later, I asked, “How can you tell if you can’t see light?” 

He responded, “I simply can ☺”  And that was that.

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Basically, the best way to summarize how to do energy medicine is: You simply can.  Or, you can’t—because the Jeffrey Dahmer types would probably have a very difficult time indeed.  The beauty and problem of learning energy medicine lie in its reliance on the instrument of healing and intuiting—you.  How Life Energy flows through you depends on who you are (your energy state) and not what you have.  If you are innately honest, chances are that muscle testing, to distinguish between true vs. false information, would come easily to you.  If your energy has always been positive and uplifting to others, chances are that sending healing energy will come naturally to you as well.

It all depends on your connection and oneness with the universal field of Life Energy, a force whose effects can easily be demonstrated through muscle testing.

If we can separate content from process in healing, then supplements/nutritional interventions would be the backbone of content, and energy medicine would be the backbone of process.  Matter and information, together, the two make the journey of healing doable from beginning to end.

The Glass Ceiling: A Barrier and an Opportunity

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Hello everyone,

What a fascinating time, a historic time, for the United States! 

As I follow current events, filled with the latest stories on our presidential candidates, my reflections turn to the elephant in the room.  It is seldom directly mentioned, because it’s indefensible and irrational.  We know it shouldn’t even be there.  But, despite its nearly invisible presence, it influences current events and our personal lives, like the wind might influence the path of Hurricane Matthew.

I am referring to the phenomenon called, “the glass ceiling.”  Let’s explore what it is—its role on the political stage, as well as in our personal lives.  I hope my thoughts will strengthen and support you, as you work to overcome glass ceilings in your own life. 

As usual, my perspective is filled with hope and comes from my belief that we can transform any obstacle in our path into an opportunity for personal growth.

Also, please take a look at my new posts in Viewpoint—a powerful page from Viktor Frankl’s book, “Man’s Search for Meaning”—and in my Creative Writing section—the poem, “Remember Me.” Links to them are at the end of the newsletter.

I hope you’ll enjoy it! :)


The Glass Ceiling: A Barrier and an Opportunity

In this historic presidential election, Hillary Clinton has the opportunity to break “the glass ceiling,” the metaphorical barrier that sets limits on women and minorities.  Hillary Clinton’s glass ceiling is the current prejudice against a woman becoming president of the United States.  In the article, “If Hillary Clinton Groped Men,” Nicholas Kristof asks, “Is there a double standard for women in politics?”  He illustrates the contrast in social standards for the two presidential candidates by cleverly exchanging Donald Trump’s name with Hillary Clinton’s. 

What might be tolerated or ignored due to male stereotyping suddenly appears ludicrous and unacceptable if performed by a woman.  The gender shift effect capitalized in Kristof’s article is strangely enlightening and startling.

As a minority and a woman, I think glass ceilings are a personally relevant and fascinating topic.  As a psychiatrist and artist, it is natural for me to ponder on its subtle influence within our psyches, or to want to write an essay about its nature.  But . . . as a human being cut by its sharp edge, glass ceilings lose their intellectual distance and take on flesh and blood—four dimensional experiences, with human faces that leave one flailing at the emotional cliff edge.

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What is a glass ceiling?  To me, it represents the expectations and assumptions that form stereotypes and social roles, which confine and define individuals within society.  By accepting the glass ceiling, we allow two-dimensional caricatures to replace a full and authentic life.  In essence, the glass ceiling is the groundless, baseless “cannot” that initially comes from without, but later becomes the “cannot” from within.  We yield to its invisible and silent presence, to fit ourselves into categories, labels, and roles, following its dictates, and letting go of our dreams and aspirations.

I have had a few experiences with glass ceilings.  Growing up in Utah, being Chinese put me in a class of my own, far more so than if I were raised in a melting pot such as New York City.  In addition, the LDS (Mormon) culture, to which I belonged, heavily emphasized the godly role given to women to be homemakers, leaving little doubt in young minds that other worldly pursuits would undermine that role.  

I felt the glass ceiling in high school, when I set a precedent at Bountiful High as the first Junior Class Officer, who didn’t have a date to Junior Prom and therefore, could not attend—sending me the message that I may be popular, but not that popular.  In college, my first marriage proposal went something like this, “I would marry you in a heart beat, but you are a shoe-in for medical school, and I’ve always wanted to have a family with twelve children.”  Meaning, I needed to choose between being the housewife to those twelve, delightful children, or look forward to a lonely future as a spinster-doctor. Obviously, another lucky woman has had the pleasure of handling that homemaking experience. 

I hit the glass ceiling again, when I chose integrative approaches for my psychiatric practice and used it to lower patients’ medications.  For that choice, the Maryland Board challenged me through the Board review process, stating that integrative approaches were “outside the standard of care.”  Fortunately, I broke that glass ceiling with the help of a tough attorney, Jacques Simon. 

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Needless to say, I don’t like glass ceilings.  

However, they have taught me a great deal about myself: who I am and who I can be.  Glass ceilings challenge us with the questions, “Do we dare to live courageously and authentically beyond the limits set by someone else?”  And, “Will we be the Columbus of our life journey?  Or, will we stay put, fearing the oblivion of the uncharted?”  Rhetorical questions, you may think, but not so rhetorical in real life. 

Glass ceilings can be viewed as the boundary where the “I am” bumps into the “You are not.”  Encountering it invites us to peer past the limits we had taken for granted.  We discover that the “impossible” was only waiting for our imagination to enlarge a little, our paradigm to shift a bit, and our vision to focus on a further point.  By doing so, we transform glass ceilings into opportunities, just as this election is illustrating on the political stage.

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You and I have glass ceilings waiting for us to break.  I encourage us to break them, whether you are male or female, young or old, rich or poor.  As I write this, a story by Dr. Seuss comes to mind.  In this story, the boy starts off on his journey through life and experiences some difficult times.  At the end of the story, Dr. Seuss writes:

You’ll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know,
You’ll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact,
And remember that Life’s
A Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left

And will you succeed?
Yes!  You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)
KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!

So…
Be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
Or Moredcai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!

“Oh, the Places You’ll Go” by Dr. Seuss

Pick a glass ceiling to break today! 

Two Parables for Reflection

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Hello everyone,

This week, I have written a couple of parables--using symbolism and story to facilitate a deeper reflection and exploration of life.  The beauty of parables is their flexibility in meeting each person at their level of being. 

I hope you will find these stories interesting.


The Parable of the Banquet

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Once there was a child who sat at a banquet table laden with delicious food. Two attendants were assigned to the room to serve the food. Each day, the child sat down at the table and waited for the attendants to fulfill their duties. However, due to various distractions, the attendants seldom brought the child enough to eat, and so the child went to bed each night hungry. In fact, the child came to notice that the attendants were half-starved themselves, not knowing how to reach the food or how to serve it; and often, when they were able to get to some food, they fed themselves first, putting only leftover crumbs on the child’s plate.

Day after day and week after week, this pattern continued. The child tried everything to get the attendants to bring more food.  But nothing changed.

In that country, attendants have always served the children’s meals. Some children had good attendants, who fed the children properly. However, there were others who did not have good attendants. The children were either well fed or thin, depending on how their attendants fulfilled their roles.

Then, one day, the child reached for the food on the table and ate it. And that was the beginning of how hunger ended in that country.


The Parable of the Treasure

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Once there was a little child who set off down the road, with a little pouch tied at the end of a stick slung over one shoulder. He was going out, to explore the world.  In his pouch was a great treasure he valued. Because this treasure meant so much to him, he went wherever the treasure directed him and did whatever it required him to do. And often, along his journey, he would pause to admire his treasure, thinking to himself, “Some day...”  

The road was a long and winding one, sometimes going uphill and sometimes blocked by obstacles. The child met the challenges along the way, inspired by his treasure, growing stronger and wiser with each passing year. 

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The child grew and became an adult. The adult grew and became an old man.  One day, the old man paused by the side of the road, to open his pouch, to once again admire the treasure that he had carried over his shoulder all his life. Out of the pouch, ragged with wear, he pulled a picture of himself as a child, dressed as a king on a stage, surrounded by admiring subjects. He was about to say, for the hundredth time, “Someday…” when he paused. Looking down at his dusty feet that had walked a thousand miles and worn hands that had created a thousand wonders, he said softly to himself, “I am enough.” And with that, he left his pouch behind and continued on his way.

Reflections and Clinical Pearls from the Integrative Medicine for Mental Health (IMMH) 2016 Conference

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Hello everyone,

I hope you're all doing well as October unfolds. 

This week, I want to share some reflections and clinical pearls that came out of my experiences at the Integrative Medicine for Mental Health (IMMH) 2016 Conference. 

I hope you will find it useful. 


Reflections and Clinical Pearls from the Integrative Medicine for Mental Health (IMMH) 2016 Conference

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“My boy, you’ve got to remember it.  You’ve got to remember the exact spot and the exact marks the boat lay in when we had the shaolest water, in every one of the five hundred shoal places between St. Louis and New Orleans; and you mustn’t get the shoal soundings and marks of one trip mixed up with the shoal soundings and marks of another, either, for they’re not often twice alike.  You must keep them separate.”

When I came to myself again, I said:

“When I get so that I can do that, I’ll be able to raise the dead, and then I won’t have to pilot a steamboat to make a living.  I want to retire from this business.  I want a slush-bucket and a brush; I’m only fit for a roustabout.  I haven’t got brains enough to be a pilot; and if I had I wouldn’t have strength enough to carry them around, unless I went on crutches."

Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain pp 43-44

This is one of my favorite quotes of all time.  I can really relate to it, having been through medical school, residency, and many conferences since.  One would think that, after 14 years of experience in integrative medicine, I might be able to finish a conference feeling positive about my level of expertise.  Let that hope be buried forever.  No, I am doomed to feel as Mark Twain did in the quote above: overwhelmed, humbled, and feeling “only fit for a roustabout.”  

It is true, as Albert Einstein said, “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.”

After the last day of the conference, as I arrived at Sweetgreens, a salad restaurant, alone, feeling dejected and somewhat sorry for myself, I saw two other attendees sitting at a table.  Putting on a smile, I asked if I could join them, and they graciously included me.  As we started chatting about the conference, we began to talk about integrative medicine and patient care.  

As I shared with them my clinical experiences in psychiatric care, their eyes lit up, and they began to ask me questions about all the things that I actually knew.  As I shared what I knew, I felt like a fount of wisdom.  One woman said, “Thank you so much!  This is the best part of the conference!”  And so life teaches us to be humble, but also to be aware of the wealth we carry, so that we can learn to share as comrades along our journey.


Here are some clinical pearls from the conference:

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1)  The importance of slowing down our breath: breathing 5-6 breaths per minute improves the heart rhythm, strengthens the parasympathetic nervous system, relaxes the body, and supports healing.  On the other hand, avoid rapid, forced breathing, or holding one’s breath, because it can induce anxiety and even seizures. The ideal “dosage” is 20 minutes twice daily.

2)  The gut-brain connection: in repeated lectures, we were taught about the importance of a healthy gut for proper mental health.  The critical nature of the gut microbiome system was also illustrated recently in my clinical work, when a patient’s mental health suddenly deteriorated rather mysteriously.

She had been lowering her psychotropic medications and had been doing very well for many months.  The process had been described by her mother as “miraculous.”  As I tried to figure out why the patient was suddenly not doing well, the mother informed me that the patient had stopped taking Nystatin abruptly, a medication to reduce fungal growth, about two weeks ago, and she had forgotten to tell me about this change.

The recommendation came from another holistic doctor, who had prescribed Nystatin in the first place.  After some diagnostic testing, I decided to put the patient back on a slightly lower dosage of Nystatin.  Within a week, the patient’s mental status stabilized.  What was interesting was that the patient had a bad case of sinusitis during her recovery.  I had read that chronic sinusitis is often associated with fungal growth in the sinuses. So, I suspect that stopping the Nystatin not only increased the fungal problem in the gut, but also in the patient’s sinuses.

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3)  The harmful role of Statins and the importance of Cholesterol: a whole lecture was devoted to the scientific evidence against the use of Statins. Much was shared about the dangers of having low cholesterol levels. Anything below 160 increases health problems exponentially. For older individuals, a cholesterol level of 100 increased the death rate to four times higher than having a cholesterol level in the 220’s. What an amazing thing to learn!  

The use of statins worsens memory and increases irritability.  Its preventative benefits are minuscule and pale in comparison to proper diet and exercise.  Bottom line: avoid taking Statins. The scientific and clinical data do not support its use.

At the Center of Healing is...

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Hi everyone,

This week I decided to offer you all some variety in my newsletter.

I discuss a list of health insights, but from a variety of perspectives. 

In other words, I approach three different topics on health and healing - one approach is more abstract, coming from poetry; one is about some new information I've learned, and how I plan to apply it to my practice; and one is a recording I made to help you if you're dealing withdrawal issues.

I hope you find it useful, and enjoy :)


At the Center of Healing Is…

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“To love yourselves is the final hurdle,
The definitive frontier of humanity.”

“Let me remind you,
Love is not something to be earned.
It cannot be judged,
Meted out, or taken away.
Love is something that you
are.

Immanuel’s Book III pp 143, 150

These quotes taken from “Immanuel’s Book III, What is an Angel Doing Here?” belong to a series of books compiled by Pat Rodegast and Judith Stanton.  The passages in these books flow like poetry and are replete with profound wisdom such as the quotes above.  Reading any chapter provided by Immanuel is like walking through the Smithsonian Art Museum, where precious masterpieces are hung row upon row, and room after room.  The richness of the experience is intense, dense, and elevating.  For those who have never heard of the Immanuel’s Book Series, I would highly recommend them as a life-long resource for comfort and peace.

These particular quotes remind us that we are here to be love, rather than to earn love.  Like a lighthouse shining on a dark sea, we have within us the innate memory of and the ability to share real love.  Through love, the gravity, entropy, chaos, violence, ignorance, fear and illness that are part of this world can be transformed.


Something new I learned...

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Over this past week, I was happy to learn about the use of branched chain amino acids and choline bitartrate in the holistic treatment of bipolar manic symptoms.  I have started to use these two products in my practice. 

I am thankful to Dr. Michael Gurevich for sharing his clinical wisdom with me.  He is a wonderful holistic psychiatrist from Long Island, New York, who also integrates both orthomolecular/functional medicine with mind-body/energy medicine, in his pursuit of healing mental illness, through natural approaches.  A big thank you to Dr. Gurevich!


New on My Site

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For those who have difficulty with concentration, I have created a one-minute meditation, for minimizing medication withdrawal problems. 

Check out my media section for the recording.  I ask my patients to listen to it daily to support their ability to adjust to lowering medication dosages. Because it is a shortened version of the full recording called “Minimizing Withdrawal Problems” I do not go into any detail about the use of “Life Energy.” 

But, to clarify what Life Energy is - it is energy that allows our life to be whole, complete and optimally healthy and well, such as unconditional love, peace, joy, harmony and truth. 

Since it is a new recording, we will have to wait and see how effective it will be, as an adjunctive support for withdrawal. For now, it will be freely available on my website for anyone to use, who may need additional help with medication or illegal drug withdrawal.

The Filters We Use

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Hi everyone,

I hope you're all finding joy in your week. In a sense, that is what this week's newsletter is about.

It's pretty easy, and perhaps too easy, to see the negative in a given moment, day, week, month or year. The more difficult, though rewarding and healthy decision, however, is to be mindful and pay attention to all the beauty and positive experiences that surround us. They are opportunities that help us grow and prosper.

It's all about having the right filter for your mind's eye...

Read and enjoy :)


The Filters We Use

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Steve, our sunset photography teacher, paused dramatically before sharing a secret trick to make waterfalls flow like silk threads, and people disappear on busy landscapes.  He held up a special filter, as if he was showing off a fist-sized ruby from a maharaja, and explained how we could use it. 

The idea, I believe, was that cameras set at long exposure times would not record images that didn’t hold still during the entire exposure period, and that this special filter protected images from being overexposed to light during an especially long exposure time. 

How? 

The filter—the variable neutral density filter—could be adjusted to limit the amount of light entering the eye of the camera.

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My thoughts drifted to a similar situation that occurred several weeks ago, at a restaurant…

I was having lunch with a woman and was listening to her experiences about her trip to Japan, where she had accompanied her husband over the course of many days.  Her conversation centered on the horrors she experienced with Japanese cuisine, in particular, sushi.  I recall that the conversation drifted later to politics, where she shared some defamatory gossip about a particular politician (who I liked).  Not wanting to get into an argument over politics, I simply smiled and listened.  This individual had repeatedly expressed to me an admiration and desire for being “positive,” but was clearly struggling that day.

Like a camera set at a long exposure time, she could not register certain events, people, or emotions that flowed through her landscape of life, for they moved too quickly, as if their vibrations were too fast for the eye of her life camera to perceive and capture.  (Oh, look at those beautiful Japanese women, with their long, flowing black hair!  Wow, this city is teeming with such energy!  I am so lucky to experience such a different culture than what I have been used to.)  She perceived the negative impressions and experiences everywhere she went as being normal, because she had a filter that prevented light from entering her I.

Of course she is not the only one, who suffers from the unfortunate effects of light preventing filters and life cameras, which fail to capture the higher vibrations of joy, love, and peace.  We all do, to a certain extent. 

Just a few days ago, my brother talked about how ideal my life circumstances were, and how wonderful he imagined it must be to live the way I did.  I, on the other hand, had just written a poem a week before, lamenting my place in life, just as he was doing with me at that moment.  

As we talked, I became more grateful for my life.  We all struggle with filters that prevent light from entering our lives, some more than others.  All too often, we remember the negative experiences and think that is reality and normality.  In the meantime, our life cameras are missing the experiences of light that could bring us greater joy, love, peace, and abundance.  In other words, if we focus on rapidly capturing light when exposed to it, we re-image-in beauty and goodness back into our lives.

Unfortunately, our sunset photography class was located at a place where we could not see a sunset, whatsoever.  Clouds got in the way.  However, in light of the lesson I learned about filters, I think it went well enough.


New on My Site

My new poem - "Before a Shift"

Unity Walk 2016: Know Your Neighbor

  Washington National Cathedral (Washington, D.C.)

Washington National Cathedral (Washington, D.C.)

Hello everyone,

Another week, another opportunity to enjoy and embrace the big and little things in life.

This week's newsletter is about my time experiencing Unity Walk 2016 - and what I gained from it. Every experience provides a chance for us to find the deeper meaning and value it brings to our lives - the opportunity to participate in Unity Walk 2016 was no different for me.

Enjoy :)


Unity Walk 2016: Know Your Neighbor

  Holy City by Brian Whelan (on display at the Washington National Cathedral until January, 2017)

Holy City by Brian Whelan (on display at the Washington National Cathedral until January, 2017)

I am lucky to have culturally enlightened friends, who are willing to have me tag along when they do culturally enlightened activities.  If it weren’t for them, my leisure activities would sink to watching movies and going shopping.

Instead, I had the privilege of attending the Interfaith Walk, entitled, “Unity Walk 2016: Know Your Neighbor.”  This event successfully drew hundreds of people together, to commemorate 9/11.  On Sunday, this September 11th, everyone walked down Massachusetts Ave., in Washington, D.C., and visited various religious centers of worship, to demonstrate unity through religious tolerance.  We were rewarded with delicious curry dishes at the Sikh Gurdwaras temple, lemonade and cookies at the Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See to the United States, as well as other treats from each place we stopped to see.  We had a lot of fun, along with a healthy exposure to different places of worship.  I came to know my neighbors. 

One particular neighbor I especially enjoyed getting to know is the Washington National Cathedral, which I have never visited in all the decades that I have lived in the DC metropolitan area.  Would “stamping out mental illness” and raising children--who invited me to watch Winnie the Pooh and Teletubbies for ten years—be sufficient excuses for my neglect of such a glorious edifice?  No?  I didn’t think so, because, here, awe and beauty found form through stained glass, gothic arches, light and music.

  Lighting candles at the Cathedral

Lighting candles at the Cathedral

The program included twelve open houses:

Opening ceremony: 1:30pm at Washington Hebrew Congregation

The program will include: Greetings by Rabbi Lustig, Washington Hebrew Congregation, a prayer offered by a leader from the Sikh Gurdwara DC, and a musical send off by David Shneyer and a group of musicians from Kehila Chadasha.

Open House Block 1: 1:50pm-3p
Embassy Church
Annunciation Catholic Church
Sikh Gurdwara
Washington National Cathedral
St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral

Open House Block 2: 3pm-4:15pm
Community of Christ Church
Soka Gakkai- USA, Buddhist Cultural Center
St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral
Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See to the United States
Indian Consulate

Closing Ceremony: 4:30pm, The Islamic Center of Washington, DC

The program will include:  Remarks by Rev. Jim Winkler, President of the National Council of Churches, and a performance by Mosaic Harmony, a local interfaith choir.

The tolerance, compassion and connection that united people, during the Walk, are the same instruments used to mend broken hearts in various psychotherapeutic settings, because the universal bond that heals is unconditional love.

There are innumerable religions as well as innumerable psychotherapeutic approaches.  And that is a good thing.  For, it is through religious and therapeutic diversity that the diverse needs of the human race are served; the message of love is uniquely conveyed; and the burden of healing is shared. 

Kahlil Gibran expressed the ideals of the Interfaith Walk, in the following quotes:

God made Truth with many doors to welcome every believer who knocks on them.

I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit. 

May I echo his sentiments, in my walk as a holistic and integrative psychiatrist: 

No matter how many doors we seem to walk through, nothing separates healing from truth and love.

Obtaining Your Heart's Desire and the Meaning of Cinderella's Glass Slipper

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Hello everyone,

I hope you're all enjoying the first week of September - autumn is upon us!

This week's newsletter is all about obtaining your heart's desire, finding true love and learning from one of the most beloved fairy tales, Cinderella.
 
Fairytales and many classic stories can teach us more than we think - and this is just one example.

Enjoy :)


Obtaining Your Heart’s Desire and the Meaning of Cinderella's Glass Slipper

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Women flocked from all over the country to try on the glass slipper, in the movie, “Cinderella” (2015, directed by Kenneth Branagh).  It would seem to be such an easy task, to fit a shoe…  But, the shoe didn’t fit anyone.  During the movie, I wondered, “Why did all the women line up to try on someone else’s shoe?  Why didn’t someone say, ‘That is not my shoe.  Even if it fits, it doesn’t belong to me.’?”  And why, I wondered, didn’t the shoe fit?  I mean, we all know that the size of a shoe isn’t unique to each human foot.  The answers to these questions seemed trivial, until the day I found myself comforting a friend.

She was feeling very sad and foolish, right after ending a relationship with a man.  She thought their love was the real thing, since he had all the qualities of a prince charming: brilliant, handsome, accomplished, and ardent.  In her desire for the relationship to flourish, she ignored some precautionary advice about his character.  My mind dug deeply for some comforting words for this dear friend.  I found myself talking about all the women who had lined up to try on the glass slipper, and I said, “I think the glass slipper symbolizes the way to true love.  Everyone wants true love and wants to fit whatever or whoever will make it happen, regardless.”  We talked about how human it was to ignore the red flags that tell us when a relationship wouldn’t be a good fit and wouldn’t lead to real love, because we desire true love so very deeply.

Beyond this insight, however, we may wonder, “Why a glass slipper?”  Can we learn something from this chosen symbol?  What we know is that glass is transparent, and a slipper is for walking.  Perhaps these two qualities point to, not only the need for a good fit, but also the importance of being transparent in one’s footsteps, or in other words, authentic and clear in one’s walk.  In this allegory, true love is searching for someone who is a good fit, and someone who could comfortably walk in authenticity.

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It brings us to the next question: What has authenticity to do with anything, much less true love?  Isn’t true love all about being dressed in beautiful clothes, being chauffeured in a splendid carriage, and dancing with a rich and handsome prince?  Where is the authenticity in that?  You’re right, there wasn’t much in that.  It was all a short-lived illusion.  For a while, Cinderella lost herself in that illusion, becoming what she believed she must be—the perfect ideal of what was expected—in order to deserve true love.  And perhaps, that is why Cinderella lost her glass slipper and why that lovely fantasy was so short-lived.  Cinderella, in losing her authenticity, had to wait for its return, before she could reunite with her prince.

The importance of the glass slipper suggests that true love may require more than a prince, for he wanted to find the maiden who would fit the glass slipper, and none else.  The glass slipper was the essential test for recognizing her and for eliminating other enthusiastic imposters.  What could this teach us, on a deeper level?  Perhaps, it suggests that we think a little differently about the word “true” in true love—that, it refers not about the other, but about ourselves.  So often, we believe that if the circumstances and the person were perfect, true love would occur.  But if that were the case, the story of Cinderella would have ended at the perfectly wonderful ball.  It would not make sense for her to abandon the prince, or lose her slipper.  She would have married the prince after that dance and lived happily ever after.  No, true love is harder to obtain than that.  True love begins when we have the courage to remain authentic to who we truly are.

In the climax of the story, the wicked stepmother locked Cinderella in the attic and prevented her from trying on her glass slipper when the opportunity arrived.  Who, or what, was the wicked stepmother?  Perhaps she represented the part of us that rejected and denigrated our authenticity and locked it away, despite our desire to be freely and openly authentic.  The stepmother had impossibly high expectations, drove Cinderella to work relentlessly, and valued her only for her usefulness.  How often have we treated ourselves in this way?  How often have we denied our creative longings and created, instead, our own emotional and mental prisons?

The reason for this harsh imprisonment can be found in the end of the movie, as Cinderella walked down the staircase to meet the prince.  She is dressed in rags.  Her carriage, long gone.  She is afraid that she will be scorned and rejected.  Will the prince accept her as she is?  What courage it takes to face the answer to that profound question!  When she puts her glass slipper on, she will be seen as she is and known as she is.  Will she be loved as she is?  Our eyes well with tears as, of course, her prince rewards her courage with true love, and finally, her heart’s desire is fulfilled, in one of the most beautiful and beloved of fairy tales—and in the tale, at the heart, of all humanity.


For Further Reading

An interesting book that explores the deeper meaning of fairy tales is:
The Uses of Enchantment, The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales
by Bruno Bettelheim, 1975

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Learn the Emotional Freedom Technique

Hello everyone,

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I hope you're all enjoying another beautiful summer week.

I created this week's newsletter to help those struggling with anxiety, addictions, sensitivities to foods or allergens, traumas and even delusions.

How?

With a single treatment that can help in any of these areas. 

So please check it out and enjoy.

Thanks :)


Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
Power Tapping Approach:

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Acupressure Approach for Resolving Problems
www.EFTUniverse.com

The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a well-known acupressure technique that integrates intention while meridian points are being tapped.  EFT has been applied with good success in reducing anxiety, addictions, sensitivities to foods or allergens, traumas, and even delusions.  It has been accepted by the American Psychological Association as a viable intervention and has been successfully used at VA hospitals for the relief of PTSD. 

Some aspects of this technique to keep in mind: 

1) be specific with describing the problem.

2) repeat the process and address the problem from different angles, to improve outcome.

3) applying EFT to early childhood traumas amplifies the healing benefits.

During a session, I would usually do this technique with the patient twice for the same problem, because repetition is helpful.  I would often ask my patients to repeat the EFT that I had created for the patient over the course of the week, such as doing it once per day for the following week.

My first experience, in the use of this technique, was in the healing of a six-year-old boy who had a phobia for two years.  It resolved, through this technique, and the process took about half an hour.  Later this same little boy overcame his fear of swimming in the adult side of the swimming pool, with its greater depth of water, by using this tapping technique.

Over the years, I have seen this technique resolve paranoid delusions. One patient thought her mother and I wanted to poison her through her nutritional supplements.  In the middle of tapping on this problem, she became amused at her ridiculous belief and was able to let it go.  Another patient reported that her hot flashes, occurring several times per day, resolved after four rounds of tapping.

The EFT Power Tapping approach that I share today is one way of doing EFT, in my practice.  It has an additional acupressure point that I have included.  I like this approach because it uses alternating tapping, using both hands, which is similar to the alternating tapping approach learned in EMDR, another Thought Field Therapy technique for addressing traumas.  So, this Power Tapping approach integrates some aspects of EMDR and EFT into a single technique.

The template below provides step-by-step instructions for the technique.  Simply fill in the blanks with the appropriate words, for whatever problem is being addressed.  I hope this technique will be helpful to you.


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Begin with three energy breaths (this easy meditative approach is recorded and available on my website - click here for easy access.).

Next, rub the area over the left side of the chest (like doing the pledge of allegiance sign), in a clockwise circle, with the palms flat against the chest.  While rubbing in a circle, say the following three times:

Even though I’m feeling/ have a problem with __.

I deeply and completely love, accept, and forgive myself and all others.

I forgive myself for __.

I forgive others for __.

And I choose to __. 

While tapping the following points, repeat just “the problem”:  Feeling/Having a problem with __.

  1. Use both hands to tap in an alternating pattern on top of your head.

  2. Use both hands to tap in an alternating pattern at the beginning of your eyebrows.

  3. Use both hands to tap in an alternating pattern on the side of your head, right by your eyes, in the area of the temples.

  4. Use both hands to tap in an alternating pattern under the eyes.

  5. Use one hand to tap under your nose.

  6. Use one hand to tap under your lips.

  7. Use both hands to tap in an alternating pattern right below the mid-point of your collar bones.

  8. Use a flat fist and tap over the thymus located over chest area, in the middle of the sternum.

  9. Use both hands to tap in an alternating pattern below the nipple point. For women it is at the bottom of the bra, at the mid-point of the ribs.

  10. Use both hands to tap in an alternating pattern at your sides, about 5 inches below the underarms. If you can’t do both sides at once, then do one side at a time.

  11. Tap the inside of the wrists together.

  12. End by tapping the top of the head with both hands in an alternating pattern.

Finish with three energy breaths (once again, this easy meditative approach is recorded and available on my website - click here for easy access).

Integrating Journaling with Meditation

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Hey everyone,

I hope you're all having a great week.

I'm excited to provide you my second newsletter installment, with brand new content exclusive to my newsletter.

Hopefully, you find this tip helpful, and work to apply it to your own life.

Thanks again and enjoy. 


Integrating Journaling with Meditation:
Creating, Transcending, Resolving, and Intuiting through Divine Connection.

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In 2004, Donna E., an energy medicine mentor, asked me to keep a journal, where I could practice “channeling” and have “conversations with God”, or my higher Self.  I agreed to give it a try.  I purchased a beautiful, blue leather journal for the purpose of practicing my psychic skills in this way.  On April 6, 2004, I sat down and did as I was instructed to do, writing “M” for me, and “A” for answer.  Later, I would change the “A” to “G” for God.  I would take the journal to Donna and read my entries to her.  I did not know if the entries were channeled or imagined, but I kept practicing.  Donna was delighted with my progress.
 
I had to admit that I was quite surprised by these journal entries, because the answers I received were far wiser than I could have possibly concocted through my imagination or intellect.  Years later, when I revisited those entries, I still found them instructive.  It seemed as if those entries never grew less profound, though I had matured over time.  Organizing them, as a conversation between God and I, allowed me to discern them visually from the other journal entries.  Because I found the process to be so helpful, I often turned to this approach when I needed solace and support for particularly troublesome problems or difficult questions.  And inevitably, my attempts to do so would yield what I needed, to meet and transcend my problems.

The way to integrate journaling with meditation is: 
1) Have a piece of clean paper to write on, or you can type the entry in your computer
2) Decide who you would like to tune into (God, your guides, angels, your higher Self etc.)
3) Decide how you will differentiate yourself from your channeled response in your entry
4) Write down your thoughts and alternate it with the thoughts that enter your mind, when you tune into the desired source.

To help one tune into a divine and inspired source, or meditate more effectively, it is helpful to calm and clear the mind, set a clear intention to connect, and open your heart and mind to the words that enter.  One must suspend disbelief, connect through intention, and write down the words as they appear, either verbally or visually, in your mind.  You don’t need to wait until the whole sentence appears in your mind, or understand what the sentence will lead to.  Simply write it down as the words appear.  At first, the words and sentences will often connect in ways that exceed one’s ability to comprehend.  It is not unusual, for the profoundness of the responses, to sink in the following day, rather than right away.  Have faith that enlightened, divine sources are eager and willing to support you in this process.

I will share a particularly memorable entry about the importance of holes.


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The following excerpt is part of a journal entry that I wrote on May 30, 2004.  It illustrates how responses I received were impossible for me to concoct through my own imagination or intellect (M=Me, G=God):

M:  You make it sound so simple, but it’s not.

G:  Sorry.  From this vantage point, it does look like child’s play.  I realize that from the ground looking up, the anthill does look like a mountain.

You are God.  What is impossible to God?  You’ve made it harder on yourself by the process of forgetting.  Think of it as a game of “pin the tail on the donkey.”  What fun would it be, if you weren’t blindfolded first, before you tried to pin the tail?  You had to first be spun around, to lose your sense of direction too.  It’s a symbolic game of life—pin the tail on the donkey.

M:  Okay.  I’ll give you some credibility.  But what about pain?  Pain is real.  --- caused me pain.

G:  First, remember ---.  Pain is a warning sign for danger—to avoid the noxious stimulus the next time.  If you didn’t experience the pain, you would not have learned to avoid being noxious yourself.  Next, though pain is seen as unnecessary and an abnormal, superfluous experience in life, if you didn’t feel the pain, your subsequent joy would be diminished.  It is the power of duality.  The deeper the hole, the higher you rise.  Be grateful for the holes in your life.

M:  How can holes help me rise?

G:  A lot of ways.  Like the mountain of dirt that every hole represents, each hole is also what has been removed.  The deeper the hole, the more dirt has been removed.  In life, the deeper the hole, the more dirt you’ve moved through, and moving through dirt is like going through negative experiences.  Now the pile of dirt is like potential material to build things with.  Dirt can be turned into bricks for houses, for example.  Dirt can be used to plant flowers in.  So, the more dirt you’ve dug out, the more material you have to work with.  Sometimes, people find a jewel or a treasure box in the dirt.  That’s when God and angels move through the dirt and leave a gift.

M:  Well…I do have a lot to work with, that’s true.  I guess my dirt is still dirt though.  It certainly hasn’t turned into a glorious mansion.

G:  Well, think again.  Would you be talking with me if you haven’t already reached a level of achievement?  Your dirt has been scaled by you and has lifted you up to me.  Or, you’re too dirty for anyone else to pay attention to…haha.

M:  Very funny, God.

G:  Life is funny, my child.  Pin the tail on the donkey, climbing in dirt, even the galaxies, with their pinwheels in the sky, it’s all a carnival, a game.  When the fire works die down, and the carnival closes down, we go back home tired but satisfied with the rides and the excitement of forgetting ourselves in the wonder.

When I wrote down the responses that showed up in my mind, for this entry, I had no idea how one phrase would lead to another, or how I would be given new ideas.  For example, I did not know, before I wrote it down, that “pin the tail on the donkey” was a symbolic game of life.  I had never thought much of that game until that moment, and certainly never thought of its symbolism.  So, practicing this process of tuning in to your divine connection can provide a wider understanding of life and surprising insights.


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Over the years, I have used this process to help me in practical ways, such as: 1) have a clearer vision of future events, 2) resolve emotional despair over losses and failures, 3) improve my self-esteem, 4) build a stronger connection with God, so I don’t feel that I’m talking to thin air when I pray, 5) help me to have greater ability for empathy and forgiveness, and 6) help me to detach from things that limit me.  The list can go on, because the ways in which our divine connection and communication can assist us are endless.  

Even though in this entry, I chose to put “G” for God, I do not claim that I can speak to God.  In fact, I really don’t know what source was providing the responses.  What I do know is that my mind and heart was trying to tune to the highest form of divine connection that I could possibly reach.  And to me, that source had the name, “God.”  I hope that when you tune into the source that you wish to connect to, it will bring a flow of love, support, and wisdom into your life that will surprise and delight you.  I believe that it is innate for people to be able to do this.  I don’t think we need to be a guru, sitting alone on a mountain, to talk to God or our higher Self.  We are more divine than we are human.  Our energies can connect to a higher source of inspiration and it is useful for us to practice using our connection to help us in practical ways.  I hope that you will use this approach the next time you have a problem or question you seek to resolve. 

Welcome to My First Newsletter

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Thanks for joining!

I'm so thrilled to have received so many subscribers to kick off my weekly newsletter. 

My goal with this newsletter is to provide great value to your life that you can easily find in your inbox. 

Each week, I'm going to provide you with thoughts and insights on mental health, samplings of my art (photography and poetry) and also my viewpoint on the world at large.

I'll be providing you easy access to new content on my website, but also early "VIP" content that is exclusive to my newsletter - which will only transfer to my site a week or two later.

Let's get started!


New Clinical Tips - 1 & 2

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1. Restore, http://restore4life.com/, is a liquid supplement that helps reduce leaky gut syndrome in the face of glysophate (Roundup) exposure.  Glysophate is found in common herbicides and is highly toxic to humans.  When one introduces Restore to the gut, the gut is able to withstand the way glysophates dissolve the tight junctions between the cells in the gut.  I believe that this product not only does so in the gut, but probably benefits the entire body in many profound ways.  I highly recommend this supplement as part of recovery in mental health.  I have had great success in using a variety of nutritional supplements in the past, but it was only when I started using Restore that certain “difficult patients” began to also benefit from the functional approach with surprisingly good speed and results.  Take a look at this supplement on their website and see if you can benefit from taking it too.

2. I just attended the International Conference on Nutrition in Medicine (ICNM), July 29 ad 30, 2016.  I was astounded by the information presented and very moved by Rich Roll’s beautiful retelling of his recovery from alcoholism and drug abuse to become an ultra endurance athlete through a whole foods, plant based diet.  He went to Stanford for college and has a law degree from Columbia University.  Also, he is very handsome!  Oh dear, am I digressing?  Anyway, I am going to implement what I learned at the conference, into my own life.  I was truly inspired by the presenters and convinced that their messages are not only important to my personal, long-term health, but also to the health of my patients, and globally, for our planet.  I will still be taking my supplements, but I know that as I improve my diet, they will become less central to maintaining my health.  I am so grateful for their leadership in nutrition and their heartwarming efforts to educate all of us in doing what is good, right, and healthy nutritionally.  I would highly recommend anything that Dr. Neal Barnard recommends!  I bought his book, “Breaking the Food Seduction.”  It is an easy read.  I am enjoying it so far and would recommend others who are struggling with cravings for unhealthy foods to buy it and read it!

New on My Site

My new poem, entitled, "Love Affair"